Scientists Discover UK’s Oldest Meat-Eating Dinosaur

UK scientists on Wednesday published the discovery of a fossil of an ancient carnivorous dinosaur claimed to be one of the oldest meat-eating species in the Royal Society Open Science .

The study analyzed the fossil of the dinosaur that lived over 200 million years ago in present-day Wales.

The fossil of the dinosaur species was discovered in a quarry in Pantyffynnon in southern Wales back in the 1950s and was initially thought to be part of a different group of dinosaurs.

Recent research has shown that the fossil represents an entirely new species of dinosaur now called Pendraig milnerae.

Researchers named the fossil Pendraig milnerae that means chief dragon in Middle Welsh to honor both its Welsh origins and Dr. Angela Milner who was the Natural History Museum’s (NHM) deputy keeper of paleontology for more than 30 years.

Milner was the driving force behind the museum’s dinosaurs gallery and had her share of naming a variety of new species herself.

The dinosaur lived between 200 and 215 million years ago during the Late Triassic period.  The researchers speculated that the species had a body size similar to that of a modern-day chicken but with a tail extending about a meter in length.

Dr. Stephan Spiekman, a research fellow at the Museum and the paper’s lead author, said in a statement that the species has “no obvious character” that set it apart but has “a certain combination of several characters that are unique … which showed to us it was clearly a new species.”

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